December 14, 2022
SBS Learn English is celebrating its first anniversary producing bespoke Australian English content to help newly arrived migrants gain confidence to use English in everyday life scenarios.
Program Manager Janine Googan speaks to English learners at Granville TAFE.
The Learn English podcast covers topics from calling in sick to work, to cheering for a footy team – bringing simple and useful English to common situations.
The Learn English podcast is being published fortnightly and has generated over 340,000 downloads in its first year, across 16 languages including Arabic, Cantonese and Mandarin.
SBS Director of Audio Language and Content, David Hua said despite the array of English learning offerings, SBS Learn English is distinct in its belief that there is no perfect English.
“A lot of new migrants aim to have perfect or a ‘native’ English speaking level and there is no such thing – it’s a myth,” he said.
“All Australians have accents and we’re all different, which is why we use a number of different accents in our content – we even use recordings from current learners to make our content real and inviting.
“I’m also incredibly proud of our production team who understand the challenges of speaking English as a later language.”
In June, the SBS Learn English launched a ten-part video series Meet the Changs which is designed to ease people into English learning and understand more about Australian culture.
The series demonstrates how to troubleshoot everyday issues from minor car accidents, returning faulty fridges and doctor’s appointments in Australian English.
“It’s great to know that ‘rego’ is registration, and that ‘GP’ means your family doctor and that helps builds confidence. One of the common themes we hear from English learners is embarrassment: embarrassment when they don’t know something or misspeak,” said Hua.
“Even if you’re not learning English, Meet the Changs brings a fantastic insight into what it’s like navigating an English-speaking world and the new migrant experience.
“The strength of SBS Learn English is our accessibility in other languages. Yes – new adult migrants are learning English, but it’s their second language and we’re pleased to be part of creating new and more bilingual and multilingual speakers.”
SBS Learn English is a free, multi-platform English language learning service from Australian migrants with additional in-language support. It will continue to add to its offering in 2023 with short form wildlife videos, enunciation guides with SBS news reader Janice Peterson and more.
SBS Learn English helps adult migrants to settle and live well in Australia by assisting them to learn English through settlement information, news and everyday life from an Australian multicultural perspective.
It aims to support the more than 872,000 Australians who self-report as having no or low English proficiency. To access SBS Learn English, visit SBS.com.au/LearnEnglish.
A PDF of this media release can be found here.
SBS acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country and their connections and continuous care for the skies, lands and waterways throughout Australia.